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Spence, Nellie 

The schoolboy in 
the war 




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639 

E5PC36 
1919 



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By 
NELLIE SPBNCE 



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Copyright, Caiads, 1919 
THE MDSSON BOOK CO., LIMITED 
Publishers - Toronto 



The Schoolboy in the War 

By NELLIE SPENCE 



DON'T be too hard on that boy! He's 
Wallace's brother, you know. You 
ought to show a little mercy for Wai- 
lie's sake." 

The scene was a class-room in a well-known 
Canadian school ; the time about four in the 
afternoon some seven years ago. I was in 
charge of a motley assembly of delinquents who 
had been gathered in from all the forms to do 
a half-hour's penance for various sins of the 
day. A small boy occupying a back seat had 
been into some mischief, and I had just brought 
him up to the front and was in the act of de- 
livering a little homily for his benefit when one 
of my colleagues entered the room and whis- 
pered the above admonition. The small boy 
overheard the whisper and smiled a roguish and 
knowing smile, as much as to say, "I guess I'm 
all right now!" 

That little mischief-loving lad of seven years 
ago was destined to lay down his life in the 
last and most epic phase of the great World 
War. 

In his History of the Battle of the Somme, 
John Buchan pays a high tribute to the School- 



Page 2 The Schoolboy in the War 

boy in the War. "When our great armies were 
improvised," he says, "the current fear was 
that a sufficient number of trained officers 
could not be provided to lead them. But the 
fear was groundless. The typical public-school 
boy proved a born leader of men. His good- 
humour and camaraderie, his high sense of duty, 
his personal gallantry were the qualities most 
needed in the long months of trench warfare. 
When the advance came he was equal to the oc- 
casion. Most of the righting was in small units, 
and the daring and intrepidity of men who a 
little while before had been schoolboys was a 
notable asset in this struggle of sheer human 
quality. The younger officers sacrificed them- 
selves freely, and it was the names of platoon 
commanders that filled most of the casualty 
lists." 

Though speaking in general terms, Buchan 
has evidently in mind the English "public"- 
school boy, the boy of Eton and Rugby and 
Harrow. Following afar off his great example, 
I wish, while writing under a general title, to 
pay a tribute to the Canadian Schoolboy in the 
War. Some recognition of his work and spirit 
is long overdue; and, failing a worthier voice 
and pen, I am constrained to essay the high, 
heroic theme. Arma puerumque cano and oh, 
how much more inspiring a figure is the Boy 
than the Man to-day! the Boy who went forth, 
even as did the lad David in the days of old, 



The Schoolboy in the War Page 3 

and with the self-same purpose to slay Goliath ! 

"O men with many scars and stains, 

Stand back, abase your souls and pray! 
For now to Nineteen are the gains, 
And golden Twenty wins the day." 

As it is easier to deal with a subject in the 
concrete than in the abstract, I am going to de- 
scribe the Canadian Schoolboy soldier in the 
person of that one whom I have known best, per- 
haps, of all the boys bela^ea O*H= s 
hundred in number who passed (many of them 
directly, some after an interval at college or 
business) from the study of history in my class- 
room to the making of history overseas. That 
one is the little lad to whom I showed mercy 
for his brother's sake some seven years ago. If 
I can succeed in drawing a faithful picture of 
him, I shall have succeeded approximately in 
describing the Canadian Schoolboy in general. 
And perhaps the picture may stand for the 
Schoolboy in a still more general sense, since 
(though I may be pardoned for thinking that 
there is no Schoolboy in the world quite like 
the Canadian Schoolboy) it is likely that the 
Schoolboy is much the same the world over; 
or, at any rate, in free countries, where he is 
allowed to grow up as a plant in God's own sun- 
shine ; where discipline at home or school rests 
more on moral than on physical force ; where 
the stress is laid on the spirit rather than on 
the letter of the law; where a real comradeship 



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Page 4 The Schoolboy in the War 



is possible between child and parent, pupil and 
teacher. 

Is it necessary to express the hope that, in 
these days when we are all being drawn together 
by a feeling of kinship and by a sympathy which 
is born of sorrow, the personal note (none other 
is possible in such a sketch as this), and the 
mention of things intimate and sacred may be 
pardoned? 

My acquaintance with the boy Alan, begun 
thus dramatically, did not develop much until 
two years later, when he entered one of my 
classes. So my knowledge of him extends back 
over the past five years one lustrum, to use the 
old Roman time-unit, of a life that numbered 
only four. 

From the beginning I found him a very in- 
teresting pupil, especially because a certain 
complexity in his character baffled me for a long 
time. It was only when I made the discovery 
that he was not, as I had thought, all-Scotch, but 
Irish on his mother's side, that I began to un- 
derstand him. He had lost that mother shortly 
before my acquaintance with him began, and I 
know her only through a beautiful picture and 
some very lovable traits transmitted to her chil- 
dren. But the Scottish side of Alan seemed to 
predominate, and it was Lowland Scotch at that 
(and surely the Lowland Scot is the least un- 
derstandable as he is the least expansive of 
human beings). "You may be half -Irish, but you 



The Schoolboy in the War Page 5 

are still three-quarters Scotch," I said to him 
more than once; and I tried hard to coax that 
Irish part out to a more equable proportion. It 
was that part, with its mysticism and its poetry, 
that appealed to me. 

My second year's acquaintance with Alan 
was his last at the school, the year igi4-'i5. 
That first year of the war was the most wonder- 
ful in the history of our school, as, I daresay, 
of all Canadian schools. There never was, there 
never could be again, a year like it. We were 
all in a state of patriotic exaltation, and the re- 
lationship of teachers and pupils became a much 
closer and finer thing than could have been pos- 
sible under any other circumstances. Of all the 
boys in attendance that year three became es- 
pecially endeared because of their active assist- 
ance and interest in our patriotic work. There 
was George, English of the English, to whom 
loyalty was as the very air he breathed. There 
was Raymond, the Yankee lad (but of old Aca- 
dian stock), who was almost the best Britisher 
of us all. And there was Alan, who had a 
double heritage of the fighting spirit, and, more- 
over, like the other two, a beautiful enthusiasm 
for all that was noble and fine. All three were 
prominent in the school life because of natural 
qualities of leadership, and because of offices 
to which their fellow-students had elected them 
in the Literary Society, the Rugby Team, and 
other organizations. When the girls of the 



HiiiiiHiiniiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiimiiiiiiHiiiiHiiiiiiiiiiininiiiiniiiiiuiiiiiiiiiniin 

Page 6 The Schoolboy in the War 



school were "mobilised" into a Knitting "Bri- 
gade," these boys volunteered to act as our 
financiers. "Don't you worry about money," 
they said. "We'll get it out of the fellows. If 
the girls are going to do the knitting, it's only 
fair for the boys to find the money." It was 
never neccessary to tell them that our ex- 
chequer was empty, for every little while one or 
another would come along with the anxious in- 
quiry, "How are you off for cash?" I never 
quite got over the novelty of the sensation 
caused by such solicitude on the part of a pupil 
over the state of my finances. Not to make too 
heavy demands upon the boys' pocket-money, 
we got up a play or two (we seemed to be over- 
flowing with energy), and our relationship be- 
came thus closer than ever. We all liked to 
have George and Alan act together, for they 
"played up" to each other perfectly, and were 
such an interesting contrast George, the typi- 
cal Anglo-Saxon, with fair skin and warm 
colouring; Alan, the typical Gael, with dark 
hair and deep blue eyes. Both had real histri- 
onic ability; but, while George acted upon all 
instructions with readiness and quickness, 
Alan, with a perversity that was probably a 
blending of Scottish and Irish obstinacy, often 
proved intractable to the very last, when he 
would come out with all the requisites of his 
role according to instructions given at re- 
hearsals, and with improvements and additions 



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The Schoolboy in the War Page 7 



of his own inventive fancy. Once during the 
year the boys put on a wonderful Minstrel 
Show, in which Alan, with Tartan facings on 
his coat-lapels and a rich burr in his accent, 
played the part of one Sandy McTeich in in- 
imitable fashion. 

All too soon the year sped away, shadowed 
toward the close by St. Julien and Festubert. 
At the latter place Alan's eldest brother, Gor- 
don, was killed. I had never known him per- 
sonally, but, as Alan often used to slip into my 
class-room after hours to show me his letters 
and talk about the war (what an event a letter 
from overseas was in those days!), I seemed 
to know him very well indeed. All through the 
winter Alan was straining at the leash, though 
he was not seventeen till April ; and I was afraid 
of the effect which his brother's death might 
have on his intense Scoto-Irish nature. When, 
as soon as the Matriculation Examination (on 
which he was writing) was over, I heard that 
he was going over to Niagara Camp, I hastened 
out to his home on the little Credit River, care- 
fully preparing on the way an array of argu- 
ments to persuade him to wait another year. 
But my arguments were so many blank cart- 
ridges, and my reference to his youth only 
roused his ire. He was old enough almost a 
man he must go. Oh, the infinite pity and 
pathos of it all! the way these boys, little 
more than children, assumed the responsibili- 



Page 8 The Schoolboy in the War 

ties of the war! "What a mistake," wrote a 
friend to me on .hearing of Alan's death, "our 
voluntary system was! It seemed so fine and 
free, symbolic of our national liberty; but it 
just drained our country of its very best so 
much youth, hope, ambition, apparently wasted ! 
The Americans have profited by our lesson. The 
Draft System is the only one, and twenty is 
quite young enough to take these lads for 
service." 

George and Raymond and Alan all joined 
the Colours about the same time, in the summer 
of 1915; and, after a winter in camp at Toronto, 
went overseas in 1916; Alan in March, George 
in May, Raymond in September. With them 
went a large number of their comrades of the 
campus and the class-room, many of them skip- 
ping a year or two in their haste to reach mili- 
tary age and their eagerness to die for their 
country. Each year since has seen a similar 
exodus, and the old school has become a rather 
forlorn and desolate place. In fact, it has 
seemed as if part, and that the better part, of 
the school were overseas ; and, like the Jacobites 
of old, who drank to the King over the Water, 
we have pledged our hearts' dearest allegiance 
to the lads who crossed the sea, the lads whose 
deeds proved them to be of the real Blood Royal 
and whose Right Divine was therefore not to be 
gainsaid or questioned. If only I had space to 
tell of their endeavours and achievements here! 



The Schoolboy in the War Page 9 

There was Fleetwood, in whom I was given "a 
third legal interest" by his parents, and who was 
sometime to take me for my first flight through 
the blue Empyrean when he had made quite 
sure of his landings (but poor Fleetwood never 
made quite sure of those landings). There was 
Harry, who did take me for a flight one day, 
very real even though imaginary, away up over 
the lines on the western front, assuring me that 
I need not be afraid, for he would "twist and 
turn all over the place," and I should see 
"Archie" shooting wild; but Harry took a last 
flight all alone in his little fighting 'bus just 
before Vimy, and whither he went no one knows 
to this day. There was Walter, whom we all 
thought quite safe because he was a Medical 
Officer in Shorncliffe Hospital, until one day, 
like a bolt from the blue, came the news that he 
had died suddenly of overwork. There was 
Charlie, whose face was never seen without a 
smile, even in death, when they found his body 
lying in No Man's Land beside that of the com- 
rade whom he had tried to carry through the 
deep Flanders mud. There was Arnold, the in- 
trepid Naval Airman, who, having to descend 
on the German side in Belgium, passed through 
a month of such adventures and escapes as make 
the wildest fiction seem tame, and who, after a 
brief leave in Canada, returned to duty only, 
alas ! to be claimed a victim by the insatiable 
North Sea. There was Douglas ("Duggie" of 



Page 10 The Schoolboy in the War 

beloved memory), a hero if ever there was one, 
who went to the war at seventeen and returned 
a scarred but decorated veteran, only to have to 
fight all his battles over again in the delirium 
of pneumonia, and, worn out with the double 
struggle, to lay down his arms at last. There 
was Max but no, I will not speak of him or of 
others now. There is not room on my canvas 
for so many figures ; I must keep to my one 
sketch. 

I have been going through two bundles of 
letters received from Alan: the one covering 
the year that elapsed till his Canadian furlough; 
the other the year and more since his return to 
the front. The early letters, written in Eng- 
land, are brimful of enthusiasm everything was 
so fresh and interesting. One letter a long one 
describes a review of the Fourth Canadian 
Division by the King shortly before its de- 
parture for France. After speaking of the pre- 
liminaries, the boy goes on: "Then came a blast 
on a bugle, and you could hear the mutter, 'The 
King is coming!' Finally came another blast, 
and the Division sloped arms. First a big car 
rolled up with the Queen in it, and then we 
could see the Royal Standard coming over the 
hill. The King rode up to the saluting base 
with his staff grouped round him. . . . The 
command came: 'Fourth Canadians Royal 
Salute Present Arms!' and the Division came 
to the present, while the massed band played the 



The Schoolboy in the War Page n 

National Anthem. Then we sloped arms again, 
and there was a minute's quiet, when Gen. Wat- 
son stood up in his stirrups and called for three 
cheers for the King. You should have heard a 
Canadian Division cheer ! I never heard such a 
noise in all my life. Every man put his cap 
on the end of his rifle and cheered his lungs 
nearly away. When everything was quiet 
again, the King turned his horse and trotted 
down beside the crowd, followed by his staff. 
He circled around past the artillery at a walk, 
and came slowly up the infantry line. As he 
came up to us, I heard Gen. Watson say, 'This 
is the 75th, Sir, another Toronto Unit.' Then 
the King said, 'There is one thing we notice 

about your Canadians ' and they passed on." 

The letter ends with a reference to the pre- 
parations for departure for France, "the place 
I have been longing to reach for two years." 
And now his dear young body rests in France 
forever ! 

The first Battle of the Somme, begun on Do- 
minion Day, 1916, had been in progress for 
about a month when our boy crossed the Chan- 
nel. From August to December he was in active 
service. Like other correspondents, he was reti- 
cent about his experiences and feelings; but oc- 
casionally he broke silence and I remember, in 
particular, a reference to Courcelette in one of 
his letters, and an enthusiastic tribute to the 
22nd French-Canadians, who covered themselves 



Page 12 The Schoolboy in the War 



with glory in this action. Just before Christmas 
he was stricken with appendicitis and taken to 
England. Writing from an Epsom war hospital 
on Dec. 25, he says, with a touch of the humour 
that was part of his Celtic heritage : "This is 
the biggest hospital under one roof in this 
country. It was, before the war, the London 
County Insane Asylum; so, you see, I have at 
last found my level I am an inmate." 

In March of 1917, almost an exact year from 
his departure, he came back on a well-earned 
furlough. Shall I ever forget that Saturday 
morning when, answering a tap which I took 
to be that of the janitor, I found him at the door 
of my little flat? One fears almost as much as 
one hopes to see these lads again; but a single 
look was enough to show me that he was the 
same clear-eyed and clean-souled boy who had 
gone away the war had not coarsened or cor- 
rupted him in the least. In fact, he seemed 
quite unaltered that day; but, within twenty- 
four hours, I noticed a great change come over 
him. For the very day after his arrival news 
came of the death of his beloved Commander, 
Col. Beckett (who had been like a father to 
him) ; and, though he received the word with 
stoical composure, he was greatly affected by 
it. He scorned to speak of nerves, but to those 
of us who knew him well he could not help be- 
traying himself occasionally; and I have reason 
to know that he spent many a night, in a terrible 



Illlllllllllllllll 

The Schoolboy in the War Page 13 



dream life, roaming up and down No Man's 
Land, vainly searching for the body of his lost 
leader. He should not have gone back for a 
long while, if at all ; but, when I spoke to him 
about the matter, as I was asked to do in a letter 
from his brother Wallace, who was then in 
France, he said decidedly: "I could never look 
George and Ray and the other fellows in the 
face again if I didn't go back. I must go." 

And so, one evening in June, I saw my Boy 
Benjamin for the last time, when he ran in for 
a few minutes to say Good-bye. He was cheery 
and brave, as a matter of course, only saying, in 
answer to some inane remark of mine: "Yes, I 
know what I am going to, but I've got to go. 
Don't you see that I have got to go?" And I 
did see that to a lad of his mettle there was no 
staying at home, no accepting of the "cushy 
job" that I knew had been offered to him in 
Canada. So I could only summon up my poor 
pennyworth of Irish and say to him, "Dia 
Leat !" explaining that it had more virtue than 
its nearest English equivalent, "God bless you!" 
or "God be with you!" "'Leat' is a Dative, 
Alan," I remember saying, and I had a queer 
subconsciousness of how absurdly pedagogical 
were my last words to the boy a little lesson on 
Irish grammar. Oh, the smiles we put on just 
to cover our tears! Oh, the poor little triviali- 
ties with which we camouflage our love ! 

He had scarcely left our shores before news 



Page 14 The Schoolboy in the War 

came of the death of George, and, a fortnight 
later, that of Raymond also. George had been 
mortally wounded at Fresnoy, Raymond at La 
Coulotte. Had the news come earlier, I think 
that I should have moved heaven and earth to 
keep Alan home. But, though I might have 
moved heaven and earth, I know that I should 
have failed to move the stubborn resolution of 
a boy in his 'teens, made more adamantine as it 
would have been by the loss of his two friends. 
And somehow, though I often wondered what 
he had meant when he had said, "I know what I 
am going to," I was buoyed up by a faith that 
the last of my beloved Trio would bear a 
charmed life, and, winning through the war, 
come tapping at my door again some happy 
Saturday morning. 

He was in England only a short while Eng- 
land was dull and uninteresting to him now 
and presently word came that he had rejoined 
his old Unit, now under Col. Harbottle, in 
France. That was in August, 1917; and, since 
that time, with the exception of two brief fur- 
loughs in "Blighty," he was at the great and 
grim game in France and Flanders to the end. 
For a long time he was Scout Officer for the 
Battalion, and his work was, of course, very 
dangerous. But, as I heard from other officers, 
he seemed to know no fear. "That boy," said 
a returned Captain of the ysth to me once, "used 
to go up and down No Man's Land as if it had 






The Schoolboy in the War Page 15 

been his own back yard" whereupon there was 
dashed off a dissertation on the text, "Discre- 
tion is the better part of valour." In due course 
came an answer, pleading "Not Guilty" to the 
implied charge. "You see," he wrote, "my work 
is not easy, and my nights are spent in the front 
line and in No Man's Land; but my business 
takes me there. . . . You need not worry. I 
know enough about this game to keep me from 
taking fool risks, and I have seen enough sights 
to last till the end of my life." 

A few months after his return to France he 
was promoted in rank, and became a Captain at 
nineteen. A little later, in the spring of 1918, 
came a Decoration, the Military Cross, "for con- 
tinuous good service at the front and con- 
spicuous bravery on the field of battle." When 
I gave this news-item to the press and inno- 
cently sent him the clippings, this erstwhile 
pupil of mine sent me back a gentle reprimand, 
saying that he disliked publicity, and that there 
had been too many references to his family in 
the papers to suit his taste. I was reminded of 
Donald Hankey's Average Englishman, who 
glories in never having had his name in the 
newspapers. But I think that, if he could speak 
to-day, my boy would not refuse me the privi- 
lege of penning this little tribute to his memory. 

In a letter dated August 16, he described the 
drive which began on the 8th, praising the gal- 
lantry of Col. Harbottle (who evidently proved 



Page 16 The Schoolboy in the War 

a worthy successor to Col. Beckett), but griev- 
ing over the loss of brother officers, especially 
Major Bull, D.S.O., and Captain Commins, M.C. 
But, proudly describing the advance, he says: 
"You can hardly imagine our feelings as we 
marched through mile after mile of conquered 
country, past long rows of German guns, 
through wooded dells which but a few hours 
before had belonged to the enemy, finally going 
through our own glorious phase of the attack 
and handing over the advance to another of our 
Divisions, as well as to Divisions of Cavalry, 
and hundreds of Tanks, which poured through 
for miles." 

Early in September he was in England on 
leave, and could scarcely have more than got 
back to the line when, in that wild storm of 
wind and rain with which Nature fittingly ac- 
companied the Third Battle of Cambrai, a battle 
greater, more epoch-marking, more heroic than 
that in which gods and men contended 

"Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy," 

he fell, with so many of his peers, Schoolboys 
of Yesterday, fighting grimly, and yet, I like to 
think joyously, to the very last. 

I thank God that, though He denied the 
dearer boon for which I prayed, He yet granted, 
in lieu of life, so glorious a death. Not for a 
young, heroic soul the tame and quiet passing 



The Schoolboy in the War Page 17 

desired by an old Poet who, with all his 
strength and fineness, was scarcely a Combatant, 
and never, surely, a real Boy. Rather the death 
desired by another Poet who was "ever a 
fighter," and, even in old age, something of a 
real Boy still. I seem to hear a voice from 
Marathon and from the market-place of 
Athens. It is the voice of young Pheidippides, 
the runner, the soldier, shouting his exultant 
Xaipere VIKW/ACV in the very moment of a death 
the most beautiful surely, with the One Great 
Exception, that past history records. And now 
the voice changes to one dearer and more 
familiar, one that I have heard on many a 
hard-fought Rugby field. It is a little raucous, 
yet it makes music to my ear. It comes from 
Bourlon Wood and from Cambrai. It uses a 
language less melodious but not less virile than 
the ancient Greek, the language of Britain and 
of Canada and of that America of which Canada 
is a part. It is the voice of the Schoolboy in 
the War, shouting as exultantly as did the 
young Pheidippides, but with an added note 
"Rejoice, we are victorious ! Oh, Death, where 
is thy sting?" 

Almost at the moment of Alan's death came 
his latest photograph; and, sharing as I do that 
sweet Celtic fancy that wherever one's picture 
goes, something of oneself must needs go with 
it, I feel as if the spirit of our boy, when his 
body was struck down, winged its flight back 



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Page 18 The Schoolboy in the War 



to the Canada that he loved so well. Placed be- 
side a photograph taken just before he went 
away, it makes an interesting study. Less than 
three years separate the two pictures, but they 
seem at least a decade apart. The one shows a 
boyish face, eager, wide-eyed, wondering; the 
other the face of a man, stronger, sadder, gentler. 
The boy is ready to set out on the Great Ad- 
venture; the man has come through that adven- 
ture, and is about to fare forth on the Greater 
Adventure that lies ahead. 

Since that fateful April 22, 1915, and most 
of all since that more fateful August 8, 1918, a 
cloud, growing ever larger and blacker, has 
overspread our once serene Canadian skies. To 
none of us can life ever be the same as it once 
was; and many there be who now turn longing 
eyes towards that Land of Heart's Desire that 
lies, we hope, beyond the setting sun. We take 
comfort in the thought that there are for us only 

"A few more years at most, and then 
Life's troubles end like summer's rain; 
The pattering on the leaves will cease, 
And we shall meet our boy again." 

If only some more daring and successful 
Columbus could voyage forth on a wide Sea of 
Discovery, and, returning, link this little planet 
up forever with the great Spirit World! Per- 
haps the lads who "go west," these young Cap- 
tains Adventurous of ours, do return to visit 



The Schoolboy in the War Page 19 

us sometimes; but we, earth-bound creatures 
that we are, do not hear their quiet coming, do 
not rise to let them in. That is a delicate fancy 
of Barrie's (the middle name of the boy of whom 
I have been writing was given him in honour 
of that gentlest and truest and perhaps pro- 
foundest of present-day writers) in the little 
play, "A Well-Remembered Voice," in which 
the spirit of the soldier-laddie appears not to 
the table-rappers, but to an unbeliever in such 
crude devices, the boy's father. He comes not 
in the uncanny fashion familiar to us in the old- 
time ghost stories, but in a dear and natural 
manner, and chats in the old boyish way. And, 
though he may not stay long, he promises to 
come again when he can get the password 
"Love bade me welcome" and meantime his 
father must be brave and cheery. 

Yes, though the laughter has died out of our 
lives, we should dishonour our beloved dead if 
we did not try to emulate their marvellous 
courage and good cheer. We must "carry on" 
as best we may, and each do our little part in 
the reconstruction of a world that has been 
turned topsy-turvy; and we must somehow see 
to it that neither Caesar nor Demos shall hence- 
forth have power wantonly to destroy the fair 
handiwork of God or man. We shall have to 
recast our theology, perhaps after the manner 
suggested by the clear-visioned Student in 
Arms. But we cannot lose faith in the human 



lUiininuiiiiiimuiiiiiiiiiiiiiuiiniuiniiH^ 

Page 20 The Schoolboy in the War 



or the divine; for, if the war has shown the 
deviltry to which man may descend, the School- 
boy in the War has shown the divinity to which 
he may attain. Perhaps the world is on the back- 
ward swing from the extreme of materialism of 
which German science has been the exponent. 
Perhaps we are on the eve of strange and new 
discoveries in the world of thought who 
knows? At any rate we must go on, patiently 
working at the problems of this mysterious life 
of ours, and hoping against hope that by and 
by the light will break in upon us, and that we 
shall at last understand, and in our understand- 
ing rejoice and be exceeding glad. 

NOTE 

The chief figure in the foregoing sketch is that of 
Captain Alan Barrie Duncan, M.C., who was killed in 
the Battle of Cambrai, Sept. 30, 1918. Though only 
twenty years of age, he was Second in Command of 
his Battalion at the time. He was the last original 
officer of this famous "Suicide Battalion." The other 
persons mentioned are: Capt. George O. Hall; Lieut. 
A. Raymond Minard; Lieut. Fleetwood E. Daniel; 
Lieut. Harry Saxon Pell; Capt. Walter McKenzie; 
Lieut. Charles H. Sparrow; Flight-Commander Arnold 
J. Chadwick, D.S.C.; Lieut. A. Douglas Gray, M.C.; 
Lieut. H. E. Maxwell Porter. These are only a few 
of the many young heroes whose memory I should like 
to honour; perhaps that privilege may one day be mine, 
but for the present it is denied me. 

N. S. 



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